Monday, January 31, 2011


                                                                                 "Off to school we go"

                                                                      "I'm not ready to be a school mum"!
Sam starts kindy on Friday, so i finished up her sleeping sack yesterday & put a hook on her little hand towel.
                                                                           (Sleeping sack for rest time)   
We dressed her up in her uniform last night & took photos. Sam will attend this school till year 12 so this is the first of many photos.
                                          I know Sam will have so much fun.
                                                             So Ready or not here we come :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saying goodbye

In the great words of Garfield the cat “I hate Mondays!” the weekend has past & the house is exactly as it was last Monday a dump!
The life living in a small house  with children is a challenge at best, but put a 4 year old a baby & 2 grown up in an house without the drive to venture outside due to the heat & you've got yourself a city dump.....I had to side step between a high chair & an ironing board today totally crazy.
Any a ditch effort to avoid hiding my head under the pillow in the morning rather than face the mess I made a plan to start some jobs tonight.
 To make more room in our master bedroom we packed up the bassinet. My son will be 8 months old on the 9th so it may seem overdue but I was procrastinating, this is our last baby & feeling sentimental I didn’t want to say good bye L
But any who tomorrow is another day & a busy one at that. So good night & hope you all have a great Monday, J I was going to go into Monday with Garfield’s mantra but now I feel I have a plan, a path and the chance to change the Monday stigma for a while.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

On my mind

                                                                                            On my mind
                                                                                 Home made Baby food
                                                                             I need to fill the jars this time.
                                                                     I'll need to make more home made Rusks.

                                                             Home- made Rusks
Remove the crusts from thick slices of stale bread.Cut the bread into fingers or use shaped cutters.Put the bread on a baking tray & bake in a very low oven for about 1 hour or until dry & hard. Allow to cool thoroughly & store in an airtight container.
                                                                  Save money & these are healthy :)

Linked from

Take the tour (backyard)

My Backyard.

I thought I would give you a tour around our little home over the next few weeks starting with the backyard.
We currently live in a residential area with neighbours on all sides of us & believe it or not we have the biggest back yard on our block.
But this clan needs its space, one day we hope to move to a bigger block, preferably rural Mmmmmm space....
Until then this is home.
Patio Area

Home made sandpit

Green House n cubby.

Lawned Area with play equipment

Side garden

Samantha washing home corner toys

Developing Veggie Patch

My Surviving Lettuce

Potted tomato Bush

Random plantings

My new addition my very own Bio-dome

My Brocolini surviving the heat

Potted colour

 Not much to look at at the moment But one day this will be a memory of how we made it with so little room. :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Happy Austraila Day Everyone :)

Cook Book

My Husband gave me a new cook book.
I just love the old ways that are still educating people today since first published in 1937. The old attitude was to deal with what we have on hand in an exciting and innovative way, these seem to be lost on our generation and I feel is further being lost in the children of tomorrow with the fast food attitude to cookery so prevalent in today’s culture.

This book has some interesting things in it that I would never dream of doing i.e.: adding half a cup of kerosene to homemade soap!
But it does have a recipe for home made tomato sauce which I have been dreaming of making since I started my vegetable patch.

 The stories behind the photos alone make me feel that I’ve stepped back 83 years & inspires me to get into the kitchen & cook.
Thanks Justin J

Monday, January 24, 2011


Momma –Mia
It has been one of those days, where I think “what a lovely day”, and then what the.............
The weather was so nice that I rushed outside this morning & did a few jobs, really pleased with myself
Good start
Then I found my first butter nut squash in the garden,
 Getting better,
But I lost track of time, lunch time had pasted & Ricky got cranky so I offered him some baby porridge, a no go this time, Fine I’ll get some mashed vegetables from the fridge, none left. I was going to make some this morning,
So quickly I peeled, cut & cooked some potatoes & carrots, while the crankiness grew!  Only Ricky refused to eat because he was now too tired to eat he just wanted a bottle.
You’ve got to be kidding me!
While putting him to bed I heard a ~smash~ “how” I didn’t ask! My new/old flowered bowl which contained Sam's lunch was now on the floor with food everywhere!
Beam me up!
So while I ponder how the day could have gone, all that can be concluded from the disasters of the day was “my veggie patch is going great guns this time around”
The life of a stay at home mum is a tough one some days; messy, cranky and frustrating but at the end of the day there is always a reason to smile!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In The Garden

Are they going to be the guests that don’t leave?

I have been encouraging the birds into our yard with bird baths. fragile lettuce & baby spinach were being pulled up leaf by leaf. Seeds I plant were pinched as soon as there little head peep up above the ground.

So we put tree branches over the lettuce & baby spinach which seems to be working, there recovering well.
If you have any ideas you use to protect your precocious veggie patch, please share them with us, I know I could sure use the advice J

Friday, January 21, 2011

The universe will provide

The universe will provide.
A part of being frugal is knowing when to say no to something that is not in your budget. Before Christmas my family took a trip to a large toy store to buy a Activity centre for the baby but the price’s were nearing on $200 & we knew that the time frame Ricky would use it was limited so we chose not to part with our limited funds at Christmas.

On Thursday a friend took time out from one of her declutter tangents & dropped over for a coffee with the most perfect gift................ her no longer needed Activity centre.

This tells me 4 things!
* Declutter regularly.
*If you no longer need it, find someone that does.
*The universe will provide.
*& thank God for friends.
Thx Kylie! <3

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

From the pantry

From The Pantry

Every family need’s a fall back budget recipe Tom casserole is ours. My Mum used to make this when I was a kid; I’m not sure where she got it from perhaps from an old magazine in the late 80’s early 90’s. She is the one whom taught me to budget, being a single parent she knew the value of a dollar, & stretching the food budget was her specialty. The creativity that came out of her store cupboard still to this day when I think back amazes me.
Tom casserole (as it’s known in our house)
500gm Mince beef
One tin of Tomato soup
Around 2 cups of raw pasta
Master Foods™ All purpose seasoning (or your family’s favourite spices)

Put pasta on to boil while you Brown mince in the frying pan (add garlic & seasoning to taste)
Then add the tomato soup to the mince & simmer for around 5 min, when pasta is cooked drain then add to the mince mix well & serve.
You can serve with cheese & bread or a nice green salad
Or enjoy it on its own; stores well in the fridge for left over lunch.
This is a very flexible dish add what you have more or less pasta/meat it’s up to you.

I made this for dinner last night & it cost me under $5AUD not bad J

Final Product


Monday, January 17, 2011

Laundry Liquid

Don’t you hate it when you run out of washing liquid ?.....not me any more, I’ve been making my own with a recipe I got from the "down to earth" blog Here Rhonda has a section down the side titled Self reliance Rhonda's how to......

Very helpful blog that I read daily I’ll be trying her home made soap this year.

To make your own Landry liquid

You will need: 
One cup of soap flakes
Half a cup of washing soda
half a cup of borax ( I use oxy bleach ) because I divert my grey water onto my back lawn so I can stretch our precious water further (borax will eventually kill off the lawn) oxy bleach is the Green choice.

Place One & a half liters of water into a sauce pan with your ingredients on the stove, mix till the soap is dissolved then Pour into a bucket with eight & a half litres of water (mixing well). The mixture will thicken, pour into some containers. You will need 1/4 cup per load a little more depending on the size of the load and what you’re washing. I also Replace my fabric softener with vintager  

You’ll save so much money in your shopping. With the added bonus of being green!

Give it a go.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm trying to budget, buy food once a month & on the whole I think we will do fine, but no one can predict a natural disaster like the flooding in Queensland.After talking about people losing homes & being separated with family & friends the topic turn's to the future of our fruit & vegetable supplies.

The reality is that there's going to be a shortage & what will be available will have a price tag that most of us cant afford or are prepared to put into our shopping trolley.
“Frozen or canned good's you say” well yes that will be a safe fall back but again can you afford to fill up your shopping trolley with canned fruit for the kid's lunch boxes, frozen veg for dinner for at least 4-5 nights each week when those too will have a larger price tag?

Well my bulk shop won’t go as far on this side of the topic, on the other side as you know I pulled out my failing veggie patch to start again as I’m learning as I go, well now is the time to learn as I go. I dug deep moved around my finances & stocked up on veg seedlings & a bale of hay to help ensure their survival. We will eat whatever is ready to be picked in the coming months & in the mean time I’m heading to the grocery store tomorrow.... yes I no I did a month shop & were still only eating what’s planed, but I will be stocking up on frozen veg & canned veg/fruits.

We all may sail along for a while thinking it's not as bad as we all thought but then it will hit us, the reserves dwindle away & prices will rise. I’ve herd meat & fuel may be affected but only time will only tell so join me & stock up your freezer/pantries dig out the weed's & plant a tomato bush, I’ll pull out my cook books this week on the hunt for some budget recipes using frozen veg. J

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Time for tea

I took my daughter to the shop's today to hunt for the Billy B Brown book's. She was given 3 for Christmas by her best friend & since we had to go & part with money to the bank in exchange for our little house i said she could take her Christmas money & find the book's.

Three shop's later we had 4 new book's in our possession & headed for the door, we were so close to the exit when it hit me like a slap across the face, that smell....Coffee, my one weakness! a take away cappuccino mmmm i don't have to make it or clean up after having it & I'm peppier than anyone Else in the car on the way home.

But as I'm being frugal i held my breath & walked on by.
After getting home & reading our first new adventures of Billy B Brown, i popped the children down for a nap & made myself a cup of tea in a real Tea cup, thinking "this taste's sweeter" because i didn't pay $3.50 for it. Thank goodness for restraint...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shopping for a month

Well I made it to the shop with 2 kids in tow, by the time I got to the second isle I realised “I'm a nut case” for not waiting until my hubby got home & just leave the kid's with him. A take away cappuccino would have be more inspiring company for following the shopping list (and only what was on the shopping list).
I am very proud of myself for sticking to the list today. I've always felt so comforted with my house being banked with food (to quote Nigella Lawson) so grocery shopping is to me like chocolate is to a they sell chocolate so were all good there!
Any way as I said yesterday were at the beginning of our pay month & in order to combine a small weekly food budget into a monthly bulk shop I need to shop with what cash we had in the house & together with a meal plan my store cupboard/freezer are my key to being able to achieve this goal.
I had to come up with 30 main meals to get through 4 week’s; I came up with about 23 with what I had in the house & added the rest to the list. What the kicker was, was $96 on baby formula.......hhhhmmmm
Well any way the goal is to make it through, trialling budget recipes; I'll let you know if I come up with any good one's & feel free to share any you may have. J

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Envelope system

Many people use the envelope system or have heard of it, this is how any bill's that come into the house are covered, by setting aside a small fixed amount every week. This stops having to find a large amount of money when the bills come, worse yet all the bills coming in together. This is where it’s easy to get behind in payments, by skipping paying one bill in order to pay another, in the mean time the next bill is accruing.
I sat down with all our outgoing bills in front of me & a calendar, I divided my bill by how many weeks between the issue dates on the bill i.e.: 1/1/2011 - 1/2/2011 so 4 week's if you have $100 bill divide it by 4 weeks & you have your set amount, it helps to add a little more as each bill is different.
Some people keep the money in the envelop till the bill comes in then just pay the exact amount of the bill, which is fine providing you leave any extra in the envelope for a rise in rate's i.e.: power bills in Australia have gone up so one bill could be $100 but the next could be $150.
I pay the set amount onto each bill at the end of the mount. I have a small file I keep with one payment slip for each bill so I’m not fumbling around looking for bills & so I don’t miss any.
My System that i find usefull
If you are behind in a bill divide the overdue amount buy a comfortable amount for you to pay off each week, & your new set amount that you will pay each (week, fortnight, month) call the provider & notify them that you will be paying off your overdue bill off at x amount of dollars & paying x amount of dollars to stay ahead of future bills every pay period you have. You can even ask the provider if they think your set amount is estimated right, they have all your past bills there & can see your average. (They’ll be happy to help.)
I have an envelope for every bill that we have even our shire, water rates & car rego’s. You will soon find how much it takes to run your home every week & set this amount aside. This way when the rates come in you have the money with no worrying & you can start saving for next years, you'll be happy you've set aside car rego money just sitting in the envelop waiting. I have yet to add the car rego’s but minus food & mortgage my home cost $179.33 to run each week, mortgage payments stay in the bank & what’s left is food.
We have decided I can make a small weekly food budget go further by saving it till the end of the month because then I can bulk shop & as we are at the beginning of our month (our month goes from the 12th to the 12th) I have to wait another 4 weeks till I can do a big shop so I have to use what’s in the store cupboard, freezer & what cash we have in the house but more on that tomorrow......

Well hope this may help some of you see were your going this year good luck :-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Home Maker

With the change in weather comes a change in pace, the temperature has been high in Perth of late, ether side of 40 degrees. Late in the week we got thunder storm's & a drop in temperature, a real relief. I was out in the rain turning the soil over in the vegetable patch, my hubby thought i was nut's!
But it gave me a chance to get back out in the garden & put in some new vegetable seedlings. I only brought what i didn't have in seed form.

The kid's & i hit the Op shop's looking for bargains, one bargain came in the form of a lovely little tea set a steal for just $6, also a little table cloth, & an old cook book from the 1970's.

I'm looking for dinner plates with vintage flowers on them, old table cloths that you know were hand made, hand stitched or painted, (my Nana used to do that), I'm going to have to get some lessons from her this year i think.

I've hung a bird bath in the back tree & turned a old pot saucer into another one near some pot plants, trying to keep the birds that come into our yard cooler in hot weather.

I've fixed up the front garden which is right by our front door to make it more welcoming, it only took some garden edging from the shed & some $2 seedlings.

I really feel that I'm getting thing's done while it's cooler. I'm trying to finally make this house feel like our home. When we moved in we cleaned it up, got one coat of paint on the wall's & found out we were expecting our first born Samantha, we were both working at the time & shortly after Samantha's arrival i was back at work & the house started to feel a little more like a home.

I then decided that I would run family day care, so within a very short time our home was swallowed up into a child care center for the next 2 years. Walls were changed to accommodate the children i was looking after, and the yard resembled a community park and the "home" feel started to fade away.

Now that I'm in this new stage of my life of being a stay at home mum & home maker..........."a home maker" that term is interesting, because that's what I've been trying to do lately (make a home) i keep thinking about all the different things that could be done to make this house feel more comfortable, & function better. So after a long day my family can just feel restored in the safe, loving feeling that washes over them as they walk through the door, & how i can achieve that for little to no money. The time's may have changed but the title Home maker still means the same to me MUM

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Something New

When i go to the library with Sam my 4 year old daughter we love to look through the cook book's, she picks through the brightly coloured ones or ones with cup cakes on the covers, were i tend to look for book's i will be able to get ideas from IE: budget cooking. Point in case tonight i made, Red beans & rice, i got this recipe from THE $ SMART COOK put out by the  Australian women's weekly.
A popular magazine here in Australia.
I tried this recipe because i had most of the ingredients in my store cupboard & what i didn't have i just substituted, which is what i mean by getting ideas from books. I tend to do what will suit my family. Shock horror Sam ate her dinner (she's a fussy eater). here is the recipe

                                                       RED BEANS & RICE
(130g) chopped bacon
(150g)chopped brown onion (I used red)
1 small red capsicum (I didn't have one )
2 cloves garlic,crushed
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp smoked paprika(i used chili powder)
1 tbs red wine vinegar
2 cups white long-grain rice (i used basmati)
1 bay leaf
1 cup chicken stock
2 1/4 cup's water
400g can kidney beans, rinsed,drained
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon lime juice

1, In a large pot fry bacon till cooked then add onion, capsicum & garlic cook till capsicum is soft.
2, Add paste, vinegar & paprika, stirring for a minute. Add rice stirring for about 2 minute's.
3, Add bay leaf, stock, water & beans bring to the boil, then cover reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
4, Add corn, mix then leave to stand covered for 5 min stir in juice and serve.
Very nice could use more chili but that's just me. The point is chop & change a recipe to suit your family & your cupboard.   

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Funny how things play out in your mind

I had a moment of regret wanting to re neg yesterday we were on our way home form dinner at friend that live up in the hills were i want to live & they were telling us that one party wants to up & move due to the weather & decided to go explore the said town that was the on the top of the list, i had time to think on the way home that currently were cant even up & move to our for ever home (as we fondly call it) let alone go exploring at the drop of a hat! i feel were in limbo & i could help the situation by going back to work.
Then my hubby began talking to our 4 year old about the fun she just had on the water slide in the back yard with her friends, & all the times she slide off onto the grass or tripped over it didn't really seam to hurt due to all the fun she was having. His old footy coach used to say that if your having fun all the trips, hits & bumps you won't feel as much but if your not enjoying what your doing then every little bump will hurt & you'll focus on it more.
I thought nothing more about it till early this morning as i was sitting in the glider in the nursery for the second time with my son, how exiting for them to dreaming up so many possibles & being able to explore them because "life is what your living while your waiting for your life to begin" i forget were i herd that quot but it has stuck with me for a while now.
I then began to think about work again & the last day i worked for someone else & how it was bitter i wanted to walk out the door & not look back 3 days earlier i had gotten a phone call at work that my licence for my family daycare was finalised i was literally jumping up & down & the other qualified girls didn't say anything, no congrats, nothing just "when are you leaving? your costing money", as they only needed 3 qualified & i was 4 as my replacement had all ready been hired was hurt i worked so hard. I rang my Hubby & he said there jealous you have dared to steep outside of the box & follow your dreams not follow the norm,your doing something there not brave enough to do.

I was sitting feeding my son holding his little hand & began to feel so over joyed at the fact that even though i was so sleepy i got to spend time with my boy all alone the only 2 people in the world at that moment was us....I didn't want to give that up..... I'm happy like some many others we have steeped outside the box, being brave enough to live on the financial line, & it was not going to hurt as much as i anticipate, not having money to up & go away when we want because were having fun.. were living life while we wait for our dreams to come true.
So it's funny how things play out in your mind all it thing's i have been chewing on have brought me to one conclusion & that is......I can make this work!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Making a start

Well I've made a start,late yesterday afternoon when it started to cool down i went out side and made the decision to start again I pulled the veg garden out leaving the plants to dry in the 40 degree temperature of to day, i covered the garden in NPK BLUE fertiliser & i will be adding soil improver, digging all the old veg & hay into the soil as a desperate offering to mother earth in order to to grow decent sized vegetables,
Why you ask well a in my new frugal mind i all ready had the fertiliser and gift voucher for Bunnings from Xmas will cover the soil improver and new plants & i want to save $60 on a trailer load of soil at the moment.

Now I'm going to give you a smile that will get you through the day proof that the veg patch clearly had no nutrient's left in its soil this capsicum i planted 4 months ago the first capsicum i noticed 4 days ago!

so hopefully in a day or 2 I'm going plant shopping i cant wait i need to think about what i need in the way of veg like zucchinis so versatile fritters,soup, zucchini slice.

I went shopping with my friend Kristi & yes same spelling as my name what are the chances! I was very lucky to get a kitchen warehouse gift voucher for Xmas & for that i got two new 8 letter glass jars to keep my flour in .
Empty now but I've only made a start.

Well have a good day all I'm off to do a stock take on my pantry.

Tightening the purse strings (so to speak)

    Happy new year all, lets all hope it's a good one......while most people were kicking back having fun compering there new year resolutions with Friends last night i sat with a bottle of red wine & went through our budget....well lets just say it's going to be a very bumpy six months at least, i was to afraid to look beyond that. I gave up my family day care business last year to have another baby & as i was luck to have him I'm determined to be a stay at home mum which means
*family of 4
*one income
*stretching every dollar
*being creative
*becoming frugal

I looked around my home last night & it all became clear there is money flying out the windows, my yard could be working harder for me than it has been, i did buy fruit trees and plant a veg patch last year but there's work to be done.
                                              From small thing's big thing's can grow.

I have a stock pantry,but i can save more money buy buying in bulk, i cook from scratch but if i looked hard enough there's packaged food in my house (yet i rant on about preservatives) i buy disposable nappy's, not the top brand any more but still i can save money there. sad to say i have used the clothe dryer from time to time...
My Grand mother said that every 25 years we go through some sort of a recession & that's why they have all way have a store cupboard, when she was a child they reared there own animals for meat had chickens grew there own fruit & veg & only had to buy tea,sugar & flour,they made what they needed & mended what was broken looked after what they had (sigh)
I can learn so much from the past.
So our little house & our little budget is in for a over hall in order to make it all work for us.